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    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    [spoiler] Living Single

    I just finished reading a new novel, Living Single. I knew about it through a book launching ads posted in one of the mailing list I registered. It's a story about a young executive lady who works in an advertising agency. She longs for a relationship of her own but eventually comes to accept her situation of being a single. Honestly, a fiction is not really my favorite genre, especially one such as this chicklit. I picked it up at Kinokuniya because I was curious about a story which made living single its central theme, particularly one against the backdrop of living in Jakarta.

    This novel is the second book I have read regarding living single, the other one is more spiritually-based. Curious? Well, it has come to my mind that such situation might very well occurred to me. Having been single for eight years, I don't see myself in a relationship anytime soon, perhaps going forward. Why, you asked? Well, I do have my reasons, although I also keep looking for rationale in the writings and experience of others.

    As for the novel itself, it's a chicklit, so don't expect too much on the literary side. It is the writer's first project, based on his friends' live experience in the advertising industry. I also did a quick search on Amazon, and it seems that a lot of this living single type of story take a female as its main character, not unlike Sex in the City series. I guess the stigma is still there.

    Saturday, August 18, 2007

    Dual Language

    I have been thinking about this for awhile. I intent to make my blog to be dual-language, English and Bahasa Indonesia, especially since I have moved back to Jakarta. There are lots of material in Bahasa, plus local readers who visit the site are increasing, so the move would be hopefully welcomed.

    This is by no mean that I would translate each posting from one language to the other, to do so would be exhaustive. I'll try to keep each post in one language, but sometimes a combination may be needed. English is still the main language, as it is understandable to most, if not all, visitors. This would also be applicable to my other blogs as well, but probably not for my website.

    Friday, August 17, 2007

    Independence Day Ceremony

    Yes, my colleagues and I were actually went to work today, despite the holiday status of the Independence Day. Well, it wasn't really a work day, we went in because of the independence day ceremony. This is due to our company status as a state-owned corporation. Other private houses would let their employees sleep the weekend off and reduce their sleep deprivation instead.

    The ceremony was just that, ceremonial. My last such ceremony was last year, after being absent attending one for seven years. To be honest, I didn't really know if the ceremony had achieved what it was purposed for, to remind us of the country's struggle to gain our independence and fire up our patriotic ideology. It felt rigid, formal, and insubstantial. We just stand there, listen to the speech, listen to the song, etc. Sure, it was fun afterward with all the games and brunch together. But have we really being independent? Gee, never really thought about it, have we? Read this article and decide it for yourself.

    Thursday, August 16, 2007


    Earlier this month, I made an appointment with a financial planner from Quantum Magna Financial, a financial planning firm I got to know when its founder, Ligwina Hananto, came to Danareksa to promote Danareksa's own employee investment program.

    So, on that Friday evening I went to its office and consulted with the planner regarding the three "kinks" in my financial life. My first question was about the lack of investment purposes underlying my investing activities. Aside from a little portfolio dedicated for retirement, I have been practically investing blindly. I have practiced what I had known of good investing habit, but virtually for no clear purposes. Miss Tedja, my planner, suggested me to define several clear purposes and worked from there. This is one of the reason I made the "investo-financia" category blog to help me work through the process and monitor it periodically.

    My second question was about personal financial leverage, specifically whether I'm ready for mortgage. It's a bit lengthy and I will describe it some other times. Suffice to say, that I'm not up for it yet at my current financial situation.

    My third question was regarding personal insurance since I am covered by two insurances at the same time, one from the company I worked for and the other was a life insurance I subscribed before I got the company's coverage. I will tell you more about it in the near future. For now, I'm seriously considering whether I should continue with the subscription since the current term will expire next month.

    Well, I guess that's enough for the introduction. It's late, and I'd like to get some sleep before going to the independence day ceremony tomorrow morning. Sigh.

    Sunday, August 12, 2007

    The Difference Between Birds and Their Wings

    This poetry was given to me along with the rest of IU's Muslim Student Union executive board members at our last gathering on May 2004. The board members for the following year gave it to us as a token of appreciation for our services and words of encouragement for what we were going to go through after graduation.

    The difference between birds
    And their wings,
    And the wings of the aspirations
    Of intelligent men,
    Is that birds fly on their wings
    Towards a certain direction,
    Whereas intelligent men fly on the wings
    Of their aspirations away from all
    - Rumi

    Saturday, August 11, 2007

    Yup, It Was A Quake

    Indeed, it wasn't just me. The news confirmed that what I had experienced was indeed an earthquake. As I expected, the epicenter was relatively close at 110 km (about 70 miles) from Jakarta, specifically at 75 km (46 miles) northwest off the coast of Indramayu in West Java, at the depth of 286 km (178 miles). While it was quite devastating at 7.4 on the Richter scale magnitude, the fact that it was occurred deep under the ocean dampen its impact tremendously. No casualties and no significant material losses reported so far.

    Since the quake occurred a day after Jakarta provincial election, there were comments made that it might be a bad omen for future administration of the governor-elect, Fauzi Bowo. I didn't vote during the election day since I wasn't registered due to the error in KPUD's (the commission for municipal election) part.

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    Was It A Quake?

    Wow, I was about to finish up with my reading when I suddenly felt my room quietly moving. It was 0:11 Jakarta time if I remember correctly. It wasn't long, probably under a minute, but it was longer than the one I experienced in high school. This time I could actually felt it and it was if my room had been inside a ship. Hmm.. what was actually happened? The epicenter shouldn't have been far. It should be interesting to see what would be in the news in the morning. I still feel a bit dizzy, or was it just me all along...?

    Sunday, August 05, 2007

    Nanner Puddin'

    During Spring Break 2002, six students from IU including myself, went for an Alternative Spring Break week where we volunteered at a small community of Ivanhoe, Virginia. I will tell you more about it sometimes, but there is this recipe that we copied from Phyllis - one of the coordinator at Ivanhoe - which I'd like to share with you.

    The Nanner Puddin' is hands-down the volunteers' favorite during day one. Unfortunately, none of us were aware that nobody put the puddin' back to the fridge, so it rotted on day two *_*

    We never replicate the recipe again afterward (at least not that I know of), so maybe an experiment is in the house (warning: possible high fat content if ingredients are not carefully substituted). Enjoy!

    Banana Pudding Deluxe (aka Nanner Puddin')
    • 3 boxes instant vanilla pudding
    • 5 cups milk
    • 8 oz sour cream
    • large bowl cool whip
    • large box vanilla wafers
    • approx. 5-6 bananas
    Mix pudding with milk until thick. Mix sour cream and cool whip and add the pudding to the sour cream and cool whip mixture, stirring well. Layer wafers, bananas, and cool whip mixture. Repeat layering, ending with the cool whip mixture as your last layer. Sprinkle top with wafer crumbs and refrigerate.

    Saturday, August 04, 2007


    The first overhaul of my blog since I launched it three years ago. (Dang, it has been awhile and my posts still count at fifty, no wonder my colleague made her comment)

    Well, there's really no major overhaul as far as content and layout goes. I have changed the design though since there's no point of upgrading my template without a big change that immediately caught your eyes.

    Blogger have made it easier to concentrate more on the design and less on the coding, which I like a lot. The new template editing interface acts just like Dreamweaver on its designer mode, and I can even edit the code manually if I chose to do so. What puzzles me is the fact that they choose not to expand their template options, just upgrading its interface. Hey Blogger! Don't you think it's about time to add more templates?